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Name of N.L. lawyer accused of sexual assault cannot be published until appeal: judge

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ST. JOHN’S, N.L. – A Newfoundland and Labrador judge has ruled that the name of a lawyer charged with sexual assault will go unpublished until the case is resolved by Canada’s highest court.

Provincial Supreme Court Justice James Adams made the decision today, two days after he ruled the lawyer’s identity should not be protected by a publication ban.

The lawyer’s defence team asked the judge today to maintain the ban while they seek to appeal his ruling to the Supreme Court of Canada.

They argued successfully that a temporary stay of the judge’s decision was justified, saying publication of the lawyer’s name now would render moot the application for appeal.

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Adams’s written decision Wednesday says the lawyer was charged last year with four counts of sexual assault and one count of sexual interference against the same complainant, with one incident alleged to have occurred when she was 12 years old.

The lawyer was granted an interim publication ban last July, which was then successfully challenged by CBC News and CTV News, resulting in Adams’s ruling Wednesday.

Lawyers for the networks argued today the ban infringes the media’s charter rights to press freedom and the open court principle requiring public access to legal proceedings.

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This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 25, 2022.

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